Fun at the ole 4077th
Authors note: This is my first Mash fan fic. Originally it was meant to be a lost chapter of the book Mash, however, somehow it turned into the television series Mash. Anyway this was an idea conceived by Schizoidpixiehallucination. Stop by the 4077th and hope you have a good time.
It was a hot morning at the 4077th M*A*S*H unit and water was scarce. Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John sat on lawn chairs outside with two martinis in hand. They usually indulged their livers in the alcoholic beverage made in their tent and after undergoing meatball surgery nothing was a better reward. "You think Hot Lips misses ole Frank?" Trap asked as he took a long sip from his drink.
"She wouldn't be Hot Lips if she didn't Trap," Hawkeye noted with a smirk over the rim of his drink. Downing his alcohol he watched the gathering officers across the way, his mind working over what was going on. "Looks like trouble is on the way."
Trapper adjusted his cap and noticed officers forming single filed lines. "We're either being shot or Henry is giving another of his motivational speeches."
"Dibs on the far right," Hawkeye said with a grin. Henry's speeches, well, they tended to be long. To be on the far right usually meant the easiest position for which to schedule a subtle retreat. Nothing against Henry, but, standing around was all he did in O.R. They had already spent 15 hours fixing up soldiers and who knew when the next batch of wounded were to show up.
"I wonder, does Henry know we keep score on his speeches?" Henry tended to give long speeches and he and Hawkeye usually scored him on how many times he paused or how often he retraced his steps. Trapper tilted his hat back to look at the reluctant officers lining up for the speech.
"If he did we'd get a lecture in private," Hawkeye noted, his hand already in the process of pouring another shot. "You know how those turn out Trap-."
"Yeah…we should tell him we keep tabs," Trapper stood up and adjusted his robe. "Henry has the best liquor on base and when he's drunk I learn something."
"Drunk Henry is the best," Hawkeye smiled, his eyes twinkled with delight at the plan. "How do you suppose we let him know?"
"Beats me," Trapper shrugged, "but wasn't it a great idea or what?"
"And you call yourself a brain surgeon?" Hawkeye stood up and downed his second glass, his smile turning thoughtful.
"You have a plan don't you?" Trapper knew his friend and he only smiled like that when he had a plan. While their plans often involved going under Henry's nose, well, the results alone saved their liver from insanity from their usual fixture.
"It is your plan Trap," Hawkeye reminded him, "I am merely improvising the rest. We will need access to Radar's office and then we'll patch in a call to Sparky and let him know of the discontent surrounding Henry's speeches. When he asks who the ring leaders are we'll say it was us."
"I do like your thinking," Trapper smiled, "and when all is confessed and out in the open we'll be sipping mother's nature. It would almost ease the war tension chopperitus."
"We'd best assemble before Henry sends Radar looking for us," Hawkeye suggested warily. Setting his drink down he made sure his robe was fastened before following some of the doctors.
"Greetings camp," Henry Blake said, "today is another glorious day at the ole 4077th. I know things are rough with casualties and R&R being delayed, but, that shouldn't dampen your fighting spirit any. We are a family mobilized to help one another through tough ordeals. So I expected to see more smiles around here and less mulling over the…well…you know what I mean."
"Henry had me sold till the end," Hawkeye grinned, "I was even ready to smile." Catching a frown from Henry he stood at attention. Waiting for Henry to march left in retracing his steps he elbowed Trapper. "We begin the op a little after everyone is dismissed."
"Now I can't make any promises on the lessening of casualties or when R&R shall resume," Henry said much to despair of the assembled troops, "but I can promise more rotation of our doctors to ensure a little more leisure time."
Hawkeye and Trapper exchanged looks and the crowd seemed happier. "How long before it hits them this is bad?" Trapper asked as Radar began playing his bugle.
"When they celebrate," Hawkeye sighed, "over a bubbly drink and in the embrace of some fine nurse."
"Are we talking about the officers or are we talking about you?" Trapper grinned coyly and began to head back to the Swamp.
"Both actually," Hawkeye grinned, "but that will have to wait until we accomplish our mission. Henry is a fine leader, but, his speeches leave little room for full star approval."
"You think we can get Radar to help?" Trapper asked as they entered the Swamp. The Swamp was one bunk mate less and as they took in the sight Trapper placed his hands in his robe pockets. "So when is Frank back anyway?"
"Tomorrow," Hawkeye said slipping into his green fatigues, "so we might as well enjoy the peace while it is here." He slid on his shoes and thought over his mentioning of Radar. "I think of Radar as an adopted son whom I fell out of contact with and just found him again." He said as he stood up and adjusted his collar.
"Radar is lucky to have us," Trapper laughed. To think if he was taken under Frank's wing, disaster, or worse…a proper little bugle toting Corporal. The two saw Radar finishing his bugle dismissal and Henry was leaving for his office. "How should we approach this?"
"With caution my dear friend," Hawkeye spoke with a hushed tone, "we must not let Radar assume our very actions will harm Henry."
"They aren't, but, seeing his connection to Henry I can see the subtlety of the situation." Heading out they met Radar as he was standing and adjusting his glasses.
"Radar that was some fine bugling," Hawkeye praised, "and I noticed Henry in particular enjoying your performance."
"Thank you sir," Radar smiled, "you know I practice into the night to hit the right pitch. Major Burns always found it a nuisance and said it dragged down Officer Morale."
"Major Burns wouldn't know musical talent if it bit him on his ferret face." Hawkeye said. So far so good, he noted, now we need to ease into the situation.
"Say Radar," Trapper said, "would you be doing anything for the next 10 minutes?"
Radar gave it some thought and shook his head. "No sir, I filled out the requisition forms for Col. Blake's film just prior to his speech. Why do you ask?"
"Radar, it has come to our attention some officers feel Henry's motivational speeches may seem…dull, hardly motivational to say the least." Trapper watched Radar closely as he said this, not sure, to be all honest, whether his glasses would fog up or he would do something else entirely.
"Why would anyone think that sir? Col. Blake's speeches raise morale, why just look at the cheerfulness all around-."
"We see that Radar," Hawkeye interrupted, "but unless we out these people all this morale will go away. You want to help Col. Blake right?"
Radar sighed and knew Hawkeye was right. Col. Blake did so much for everyone and it didn't seem fair to have people say such mean things about his speech. "Alright…what can I do to help?"
"We need you to patch into Sparky so he can relay a message to Col. Blake. After that we'll take it from there and you can keep a look out for anyone who might need to make a call."
"Sparky is usually busy…but I'll do my best." Radar headed to his office and Hawkeye followed. It was only as Trapper pulled him back that their situation grew harrowing.
"Great…all that stands before us is Major Hot Lips herself." Trapper groaned. "How is Radar going to hold off a Major who has more rank then us together?"
"Leave that to me Trap," Hawkeye smiled, "I have a way with the Major to give us time. Get our message out and I'll you soon after."
"Good luck buddy," Trapper said, "and by the luck I mean all I have from our poker winnings." Heading after Radar he hated to leave him out there, but, duty called.
"Captain Pierce," Margaret greeted, "to what pleasure do I have in meeting you here?" He is up to something, she thought, and his partner in crime is absent.
"I-I was just too eager in waiting for Henry's next great speech," he said, "it really motivated me to live life to its fullest."
"Ah huh," Margaret rolled her eyes, "where is Cpt. McIntyre in all your excitement? Surely the duo of drunken disorderly conduct would band together in such a scheme-."
"Yes…well Trapper had a prior engagement to attend to before coming here. In fact he is making a call to his mother as we speak, quite emotional really."
"His mother you say?" Margaret looked past him at the door and grew curious. "You wouldn't mind if I checked for myself would you?"
"W-Well Trapper is a sentimental guy," Hawkeye stalled, "and he only talks to his mother on rare occasions. Can't you look past his past actions and allow him this private moment?"
"Look Captain," Margaret demanded, "either you let me in or I'll report this to Col. Blake himself. This scene is suspicious and as Major I have every right to inspect it."
"Col. Blake gave Trapper permission," he said, his own lie seeming to make a believer of himself. "We all need to confide in someone, plus, Trapper has a lot to say."
"Cpt. Pierce…should this be one of your pranks I will bring this to General Hammond's attention. For now I must inspect the nurse's tent, so, for now count yourself lucky."
"Mind if I tag along?" Hawkeye caught her cold glare before seeing her head off. "Now to see how well Trapper is doing by himself."
"Cpt. Pierce…glad you could join us," Col. Blake stood at attention and his words were cold as ice. Trapper sent him an apologetic look and then looked out the window as he saw Col. Blake stare at him. "So it was you two who didn't take to my speech?"
"News runs fast," Hawkeye smiled weakly, "look Henry rotating doctors around is fine, but cut us some slack. Some of us just came off several hours of meat ball surgery. Just stop the speeches and let our livers take in the fine wine. People are entitled to smile or frown as they please. War is hell and being asked to smile about it and what not doesn't help our happy family. We need alcohol to escape the pain and isolation the war has given us. C'mon Henry…what do you say?"
Henry ran a hand along his jaw and sighed. "Fine…I wasn't really convinced by my own speech anyway. I get over the distance from my wife through alcohol and golf. You guys are my new family and I need to cut you slack where it is deserved. So, starting tomorrow I'll see about some R&R."
"Now there's the Henry we love," Trapper cheered and out of Henry's office came Radar. Radar had in his hands some fine liquor and began to pour into the held glasses of his family.
"A toast," Hawkeye offered as his glass was filled, "to family and its many struggles." With a clink the three drank and then Radar heard the choppers in the distance. Their celebration ended then…but the day was still young after all.